Science–religion recognition

  1. Lemma
  2. Prepoznavanje nauke i religije
  3. Serbian
  4. Stevanovic, Aleksandra
  5. Modes of interaction
  6. 12-3-2017
  7. Maric, Ilija [Author]. Classical Physics and Physics of Serbs. 164–175, Science and Religion
  8. Classical Physics and Physics of Serbs - Belgrade: Otačnik, 2013.
    1. Maric, Ilija
  9. Saint Basil the Great - Physics
    1. The chapter of the book "Classical Physics and Physics of Serbs" by Professor Maric, titled “Science and Religion”, starts with citation from Jovan Majendorf (John Meyendorff), a prominent Orthodox priest, theologian and author of the 20th century, stating that “there is a natural and reliable ally of Christianity which majority of Christians does not even notice. That ally is – science.” Initially, the author recognizes the fact that few people can explore the relation of science and religion. Therefore, his approach to the issue in question stems around questions, not answers, as an attempt to provoke further discussion and possible answers. The author finds it particularly difficult to tackle the relationship of science and religion in the past two millennia of Orthodoxy, especially in the present time marked with the expansion of technology.

      The question the author does find important is whether there are, in the Orthodoxy itself as a Christian religion, some inner reasons that would hinder the development of science among Orthodox people. There has to be admitted that modern society is technological – even Church has to use technological devices and that has to be taken into consideration as well. The author lists Biblical examples in order to explore the relation of science and religion. Namely, some of the thinkers have seen science and scientific knowledge as the consequence of the fall into sin, which would imply that science is a sort of sinful and undesired knowledge. However, the author explains that in the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, this statement is not supported. In fact, Adam and Eve have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, where “good and evil” are the key points, and not the knowledge itself. Knowledge is a vital part of the good–evil recognition by which the author implies Adam and Eve needed certain knowledge to obey God’s will. However, in Christian thought, the most important aspects cannot be understood through science. Even physics could not reveal Creator based on his Creation. Thereby, the author states that knowledge cannot provide salvation. What does foster science is that in the Holy Book, there is no obstacle in studying Nature, but there is implication that it should be studied so as to seek God and salvation as well. Justin the Philosopher has stated that science and philosophy are just a particle of realizing the truth about logos. In that sense, they serve as preparation for true wisdom and real philosophy, and that is philosophy in Christ. In addition, the author mentions St Basil the Great who has also claimed that science is not meaningless, and Christians need knowledge of Nature so as to glorify its Creator.

      The aim of the paper is to prove that the Bible does not consist of any parts preventing from studying Nature as the God’s creation. In that sense, science is the religion’s ally, as stated in the initial citation. Although the author concludes that in the past, science and religion have not regarded each other as allies, there should be a connection established.